Volkswagen Brings Big Solar to Tennessee, with Largest Automotive Solar Park in the U.S.

This post was originally published in 2013. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.

Volkswagen recently flipped the switch on a brand new solar park and is now using solar to operate its manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The commissioning of Volkswagen’s 9.5 MW solar park took place in January. This is the largest solar project in Tennessee, and Volkswagen’s largest solar park worldwide. 

Solar Partnerships

A strong partnership between visionary organizations helped bring this project to life. Phoenix Solar USA was responsible for planning, delivering components (including SMA inverters),and constructing the site for park owner Silicon Ranch Corporation, who has secured a 20-year contract to supply Volkswagen with PV electricity from the plant.

PV System Details 

The Volkswagen solar power plant will contribute 12.5 percent of the manufacturing facility’s energy needs during full production times and 100 percent in non-production periods. This remarkable solar park features 33,600 ground mounted solar modules and five MV Power Platform structures.  Each SMA MV Power Platform is a 1.5 MW structure that houses two Sunny Central 760 CP inverters and a medium-voltage transformer.

“We are proud to power up the biggest solar park of any car manufacturer in North America today. The solar park is another proof point of Volkswagen’s worldwide commitment to environmental protection under its ‘Think Blue. Factory’ philosophy, a broadly focused initiative for all VW plants to achieve more efficient use of energy, materials and water.” – Frank Fischer, CEO and Chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga

‘Think Blue. Factory’

‘Think Blue. Factory’ is Volkswagen’s current initiative that embodies the company’s philosophy on production plants. The auto manufacturer’s goal is to promote responsible use of energy, materials and water, and to reduce CO2 emissions and pollutants. Volkswagen plans to reduce its impact on the environment by 25 percent by the year 2018. The 9 MW solar park in Tennessee brings Volkswagen one giant step closer to their goal.

Solar Spotlight aims to highlight SMA inverters in real-world situations. Email us with information about your SMA-powered PV projects at SocialMedia@SMA-America.com

 

 

1 reply
  1. Phil Manke
    Phil Manke says:

    Good on yah, VW! Here’s hoping you continue honoring the solar commitment with more E-auto offerings in the near future, and all across the USA, not just compliance states. I’d like to see an extended van version, like the older Type II busses. More stabil and better visability. If I still had my “73, I’D ELECTRIFY IT.

    Reply

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